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Feds Want To Change Mexican Wolf Recovery

The federal government has proposed to change the recovery program for the endangered Mexican gray wolf. The last public hearing on the issue will be Tuesday.

Audio

Aired 12/3/13

The federal government has proposed to change the recovery program for the endangered Mexican gray wolf. The last public hearing on the issue will be Tuesday.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

At last count only three breeding pairs of Mexican wolves lived in the wild, so inbreeding often occurs.

Last January, 75 Mexican wolves lived in the wild with only three breeding pairs. So there was a lot of inbreeding. That means small litters and low survival rates.

Under the proposed changes the 300 or so Mexican wolves in a captive management program could be released into central New Mexico and Arizona.

Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity said he’s troubled by the boundaries that would confine the wolves to the area between Interstate 40 and Interstate 10.

“The Mexican wolf is currently on a trajectory toward extinction,” Robinson said. “They essentially need to be able to roam and establish territories and hunt natural prey and teach their pups how to do so. Artificial boundaries just get in the way of that.”

Also under the proposed changes ranchers could kill any Mexican wolf that attacked their livestock on public land.

People have until Dec. 17 to comment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to make a decision by January 2015.

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